Actor Emile Hirsch back in Utah court on assault charges
PARK CITY, Utah (AP) -- Actor Emile Hirsch appeared in a Utah court Monday as attorneys settled on a date for prosecutors to lay out the evidence that led them to charge him with assault in a nightclub incident during the Sundance Film Festival.
The "Into the Wild" star is accused of putting a studio executive in a chokehold Jan. 25 at Tao Nightclub in Park City. He was later charged with aggravated assault and intoxication.
Hirsch arrived at the small mountain town court with two attorneys. The 30-year-old from Encino, California, wore a tight-fitting black suit and had a beard.
Hirsch was subdued during a brief court appearance and declined to comment outside court.
Prosecutors will describe their evidence against him at a preliminary hearing set for Aug. 17.
State Judge Paige Petersen told attorneys if they reach a plea agreement, they can present it at that hearing, or they can request an earlier court hearing if they're ready. Attorneys declined to comment on plea deal negotiations.
Hirsch's attorneys have said the actor doesn't remember the events at the nightclub because he drank so much alcohol. They say Hirsch has gone to rehab and received counseling.
The felony assault is punishable by up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine.
The woman Hirsch is accused of assaulting is Daniele Bernfeld, an executive for the Paramount Pictures subsidiary Insurge Pictures. Paramount spokeswoman Katie Martin Kelley declined to comment Monday.
According to authorities, Hirsch put the woman in a chokehold, and two people had to pull him off of her.
Hirsch is best-known for his starring role in "Into the Wild." He also has appeared in Universal's Navy SEAL drama "Lone Survivor," Peter Berg's account of a disastrous 2005 military operation in Afghanistan.
Hirsch was at Sundance for the premiere of the drama "Ten Thousand Saints."
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